Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gun Fun

Spent most of the day at the range today, getting sunburned, and chewing the fat with the gun-clinging rednecks. Oh yes, and competing in an IDPA-style match with the little CZ. Results on that eventually.

Spring must be here, as the first Postal Match is up at Mr. Completely. Download the target and give it a try.

Duct Tape

Like the Force, it has a dark side, a light side, and holds the universe together. Now available in Nuclear grade.

It gives one pause, even me, to think of the conditions under which "Nuclear Grade" duct tape might be called for.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Obamas Budget

He now says that he'll cut the deficit by half. Want to know how he plans to do it? Easy:

He runs up such a deficit in his first couple of months that anything he does thereafter looks good by comparison.

The WSJ has an extensive article on this today.

Yeah, I remember all the whining the Dems did about Bushes deficits too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm a Libertarian?

I've always thought of myself of slightly to the right of center, a moderate. Here's the proof I'm not actually a right-wing whacko.

You are a

Social Liberal
(66% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(91% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Well, maybe a right-center whacko. I do have a great deal of sympathy for the economic ideals of the Libertarians, but the party itself is not going to win the presidency anytime soon.

So go here and see where you fall on their chart.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gun Fun

Fun for all ages and inclinations. First is Duck Hunter, which features a flying "duck" and a laser pistol. I'm not sure about hunting duck with a pistol, but it looks like a lot of fun to me. Especially if you're frustrated with your radio-controlled helicopter.

Next there's this: An exercise in wretched excess that will bring tears to the eyes of red-blooded mad scientists everywhere.

Take this baby out duck hunting and there won't be a mallard alive within 600 yards of you. Perhaps this could be marketed to the airline industry.

Thanks to Say Uncle for this one.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Seeing The Light

They say the first thing a convict finds when entering prison is Jesus.
I note that for most of them, he's the first thing they lose upon leaving.

Thanks to Townhall Funnies for this one by Nate Beeler.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gun Laws

Eugene Volokh has a posting regarding a court case in which a man was convicted of being in possession of a firearm while simultaneously being in the business of selling drugs. His argument was that pursuant to Heller v DC, he was entitled to possess the gun for self defense, especially because he lived in what might be described as a “seedy” neighborhood.

Now Heller has stated definitively that everybody has a right to possess a firearm, while giving a nod to the right being abridged if someone is a convicted felon or adjudged insane, or some other such. The court, in this case reasons:

The statements “if you have a gun, you can’t sell cocaine” and “if you sell cocaine, you can’t have a gun” are identical.

The two statements are not even remotely the same. In the first case, let’s say business is being conducted as usual, i.e. goods or currency is pushed across the table to the left, and cocaine is pushed across the table to the right and everybody parts company amicably. In this case, it would be not only legal, but completely unsurprising for the dealer, and possibly even the customer to be armed. It’s a seedy neighborhood after all, and both parties are carrying something of value, commercially similar to, say, jewelry. The statement seems to imply that if I don’t have a gun, then I may sell cocaine.

The second statement is ridiculous on its face. Selling Cocaine is illegal, possessing a gun, absent any disqualifiers, is not. The correct phrase is “If you are convicted of selling cocaine, then you can’t have a gun.”

In view of Heller, I am thinking that a lot of crime laws are now in question, as the possession of a firearm, absent disqualifiers, is not a crime. If, however, the gun is used as an accessory in commission of a crime, then the law may legally expand the penalties for the crime, as in “armed robbery”, or “assault with a deadly weapon”.

If the drug dealer, prior to his conviction, was otherwise not disqualified from possessing the gun, then no charges relating to the gun should be filed. The right to vote is also abridged in many places for the same reasons as the right to arms. It is interesting to consider how the case would sound if voting were substituted for gun possession.


Capitalism and humor, anyway. OK black humor. Oops, was that insensitive of me?

Anyway, the red Chinese have warned Oboe against the virtues of free trade, and the vices of protectionism, and now no less an authority than Vladimir Putin is warning him against the vices of socialism.

In spite of this, he's considering the Swedish model for dealing with problem banks.

Unfortunately, this is not the model you were looking for.

More like this. Oh yeah, and thanks for the models.

He is proposing dropping sanctions against the Axis of Evil, Iran and Syria. I understand he's also considering adding Burma and Cuba to his friends list in the same manner.

And because his economic policies so closely resemble those of Benito Mussolini, and because I'm goshalmighty tired of 8 years of "Chimpy McBushitler" from people who clearly slept through high school history, here's:
And thanks to Theo Spark for the picture.

Hopefully the weekend will be warm, I won't be so cranky, and I'll have some gunney stuff for you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Musical Interlude


And the projects are greasy.

Parts are jumpin’

From my hands to the floor

I’ll surely get rich

When the investors come lookin’

So hush now my baby

Gimmie just one beer more


And the grease is all frozen

Just like my backside

When I’m down on the floor

Heat sure would be nice,

And fewer cracks ‘round the door frame

So hush now my baby,

just one coffee more


And the project’s completed

Folks fled in terror

When they first heard the roar

France surrendered

And their money’s good looking.

So hush now my baby,

Have one champagne more.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Collect Graft Legally

I had always wondered how elected politicians got so rich in office without getting arrested for taking really big bribes, and now, thanks to Ed Morrissey, I have at least part of the answer.

A politician makes a loan to his or her campaign. The campaign fund then starts paying it off.

The politician sets the interest rate in the middle stratosphere, and may allow the campaign fund to pay interest only.

The politician then holds fundraisers to pay off the debt.

Donations to the campaign fund go directly to the politician. Properly managed, the debt will never get paid off, but the politician will, as everybody knows where the checks are going. The linked article references California Representative Grace Napolitano, but I remember Hillary Clinton loaning her campaign fund quite a bit more than the $150K that Grace has now leveraged up to $250K.

Hillarys $11.4M loan must be collecting interest from every tin horn dictator in the world who wants a favorable review from the new Secretary of State.

It's the sort of institutionalized corruption we should be acting against. Write your elected representative today and..... Oh, never mind.

The Workshop

Here is a fun little game for all you do-it-your-selfers. How good are you at estimating things like centers, bisected angles, and the sort of stuff that allows you to cut out the gears for an all-wood clock, for example, without a pattern

In 2 tries, I got down to 3.1. 3.1 what, I'm not sure. Percent, from the look of it. Good enough to put me on the good side of the results curve, but not as good as I believe myself capable of.

Give it a go.

Upcoming Gun Laws

The G.O.A. has posted a mercifully short list of the proposed gun laws before the current congress. Don't get your hopes up just because the list is short. The day, as they say, is young yet. These things range from helpful to downright stupid, to malignant.
Here's the current crop:

H.R. 17 (Bartlett): This bill would reaffirm the right to use firearms for self-defense and for defense of one’s home and family.

If you contact your congress critters on this one, point out to them that the right to life sort of implies a right to defend it, especially if it's your own. Otherwise a vote against this bill is a vote to help protect the working environment for thugs.

H.R. 45 (Rush): This bill would require a license for handguns and semiautomatics, including those currently possessed. The applicant must be thumbprinted and sign a certification that, effectively, the firearm will not be kept in a place where it would be available for the defense of the gun owner’s family. The applicant must also make available ALL of his psychiatric records, pass an exam, and pay a fee of up to $25. The license may be renewed after five years and may be revoked. Private sales would be outlawed, and reports to the attorney general of all transactions would be required, even when, as the bill allows, the AG determines that a state licensing system is sufficiently draconian to substitute for the federal license. With virtually no exceptions, ALL firearms transactions (involving semiautos, handguns, long guns, etc.) would be subject to a Brady check. In addition, the bill would make it unlawful in nearly all cases to keep any loaded firearm for self-defense. A variety of “crimes by omission” (such as failure to report certain things) would be created. Criminal penalties of up to ten years and almost unlimited regulatory and inspection authority would be established.

This one is the malignant one. If you want a compendium of gun laws on this continent, go here, and note that practically all of them are aimed at disarming minorities. Point out to your congressman that the "Ol' white sheet" doesn't care what color the fellow underneath it is.

H.R. 197 (Stearns): This bill would establish national standards for concealed carry reciprocity, but would not protect residents of pro-gun states like Vermont and Alaska which do not require paper permits.

This is a good one. The bit about Alaska and Vermont could easily be rectified by recognizing a drivers license from either state as a permit to carry, which it pretty much is.

H.R. 442 (Rehberg): This bill would provide amnesty for a veteran who acquired a “souvenir” (such as a machine gun) while serving overseas, so long as it is registered during a 90-day grace period.

The government is aware that a number of souvenir firearms came back from various wars without being declared, and they would like to have a complete registry of all of them. I'm ambivalent on this one. If cousin Charlie smuggled an AK back from Viet Nam, so what. He should have every right to posses it, and it's none of the governments business.

H.R. 495 (Rodriguez, Teague, Engel, Reyes): This bill would authorize $15,000,000

Any normal, red-blooded American should not need to read any further that this before reaching for the tar bucket.

for two years to the BATFE

And fix up a torch, and check for a nice piece of hemp rope.

for the purpose of enhancing its project to thwart the transportation of firearms across the Mexican border.

The authors have been listening to the Mexican government and the Brady bunch who are proclaiming that absent a closing of the "gun show loophole", the Mexican narcotrafficantes are visiting the US where they buy machine guns and grenades at the gun shows with no questions asked. The US press is willing to print this as gospel. The desertion rate in the Mexican army, who has, or had a lot of this stuff, never seems to come up in this discussion.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Blogger Fest

RMBF happened last weekend. I went, and didn't bring a camera. Other people did. Beer was drunk, jokes and stories were exchanged, and a good time was had by all. I only stumbled a little, missing the step from the platform our table was on.

In spite of the pictures taken, I haven't come across any of them, which probably means I don't read the blogs of the photographers.

In spite of the festival being held in darkest LoDo in the middle of winter, I found free parking on the same block. It's a by-product, I guess, of the country becoming more and more third-world, that motorcycles are becoming more and more common, and the notion that a Honda is as much a "bike" as a Schwinn, and entitled to the same parking privileges, is becoming more and more accepted. Works for me.
Soon I expect we'll come to an informal agreement with the publicans: We can ride our bikes up onto the sidewalks and park there as long as there's plenty of room for the pedestrians to get by, and if we run over the mendicants outstretched legs, encouraging him to take his practice elsewhere, there's a free beer in it for us.

Motorcycle riding in February. I blame Global Warming.

My Piece of the Stimulus

Thanks to Reason for the pointer, now I can start my own company, hire my friends, and do R&D on my favorite subject:

wireless and broadband deployment grant programs

(including transfer of funds to Billll for the Billll Personal Economic Stimulus Program)

    For necessary and unnecessary expenses related to the Wireless and Broadband Deployment Grant Programs established by section 6002 of division B of this Act, $2,825,000,000, of which $1,000,000,000 shall be for Wireless Deployment Grants and $1,825,000,000 shall be for Broadband Deployment Grants: Provided, That an additional $50,000,000 shall be paid directly to Billll in the form of subsidized loans that do not require repayment. Provided Further, That the funds be used by Billll to Personal weapons research and development or for whatever. Provided Even Further, That Billll will receive free AC-DC tickets for life. Provided Even Further Still, That Billll shall be treated as a cabinet-level appointment for the purpose of income tax reporting, and therefore no taxes shall be paid on any of the aformentioned benefits. And one more thing: Nancy Pelosi is hereby expelled from Congress, effective immediately upon enactment.

    This sort of reminds me of the Grenada Corporation that I proposed right after we liberated the place, and were looking for something to boost their economy. It involved myself and 3 or 4 co-workers setting up a manufacturing facility on Grenada producing small arms which would then be provided to friendly governments and insurgencies, properly vetted by the CIA. Business expansion would include a Stinger missile made to Radio Shack level of technology, and eventually include the production facility for the Piper PA-51 aircraft.

    Board meetings would be held on the beach, and attended by wahinis.

    Eventually we would become the biggest employer on the island, and the president, a local who understood the principle of "butter on only one side of a slice of bread", would import an economic adviser from the University of Chicago who would model the islands policy to be as similar to Hong Kong as possible.

    Audace, toujours l'audace.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Medical Breakthroughs

Real modern science, right before your eyes!

First off there's been discovered a chemical that increases the oxygen release of hemoglobin. This helps muscles that suffer from lack of blood circulation, such as the heart:

After drinking a chemical dissolved in water, mice with damaged hearts turn from couch potatoes into treadmill tearaways, researchers say. The finding raises hopes that the same substance can invigorate patients weakened from heart attacks by increasing the supply of oxygen to damaged cardiac muscle.
I can't help but think that improved oxygenation wouldn't hurt the brain, either.

And now, the first tattoo with a real reason to be there. For diabetics, this tattoo would be made from special ink that changes color when exposed to glucose:

If levels are high, the ink appears yellow. If levels of the sugar are low, it turns purple. A healthy level shows up as orange.
For the modest, I suppose, this would be a small dot, somewhere inconspicuous. For the flamboyant, it could be an artistic wonder that changes through the logos of three different football teams, depending on your state of health. When the Lions logo shows, you know you're near death.

Obama Succeeds

Where Diogenes failed. In Sen. Judd Gregg, Oboe has at last found an honest man, and in Washington of all places.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Damned If You Do

Damned if you don't.

This is from the owners manual for Rossi revolvers, of which I happen to have one:

Securing your firearm may inhibit access to it in a defense situation, and result in injury or death.

Failure to properly secure a firearm may result in injury or death.

So keep it loaded, and carry it with you.

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Tax dollars doing something, I suppose, although not particularly stimulating unless you're a union washer-crammer in the golf cart plant. Oh wait....
Although the origins of the provision are unclear, it could be a boon to North Dakota-based NEV manufacturer Global Electric Motorcars, a division of Chrysler.

Note the tasteful choice of crash test dummy.

The Stimulus plan proposes that the government buy $3Million worth of these things for some unspecified purpose. If we're lucky, the government will require all senators and congressmen and cabinet members to drive the things to work on a daily basis.
On the freeway.

When I am dictator, the Department of Transportation will be reduced to a small advisory group to the Justice department's prosecution of the Teamsters, Amtrak will be sold on e-bay, and carpool lanes will be illegal. Persons wishing to complain must drive one of there across Montana, solo, in the winter before presenting petition.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Most Ethical Congress Ever

Of course they are. In all the time I've been observing them, never has even one of them ever ratted out another.

In Chicago and New York, it's called Omertà.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

2-Bore Gun

Pictured below is just the gun you need when the discussions turn to the “Mine is bigger than yours” stage. This one generally puts a stop to that.
The gun is owned by a friend of mine, John C, and was made by one John Braxton, about whom I have no information. The barrel is rifled, for those all-important long distance shots.

Here are a couple of close-ups of the trigger mechanism.

Note the rather unusual bottom striking feature. This probably helps the reliability of the thing, as the powder can be expected to creep to the bottom of the barrel prior to firing, and the percussion cap may have a problem igniting the powder around the ball. Here it is cocked.

Sorry for the focus problem. Here it is cocked. With only 3 parts, the mechanism is quite simple, and the spring can be made by a blacksmith.

The wood is straight-grain walnut.John tells me this gun has been fired and chronographed at:

350g ffg powder, ½ lb round ball, 1100 fps, 9389 ft-lbs
550g ffg powder, ½ lb round ball, 1340 fps, 14000 ft-lbs
600g ffg powder, ½ lb round ball, 1400 fps, 15,209 ft-lbs

He does not normally load this thing to anywhere near this level, finding it enough to use 250g of ffg for himself and most normal people, and 300 g for the exceptionally manly.

This piece weighs 22 lbs, which is a good thing, as it packs a memorable wallop on both ends. He has a wrought-iron fork, which is pushed into the ground and supports the barrel when you’re firing this out at the range.

When the rhino charges, I presume you put it to your shoulder and make your shot quickly.I’ve fired it at 250g ffg, and it feels like a modern 12-ga with 3 in magnum loads, only spread out over a somewhat longer time span.I'm currently building 2 guns at 1-1/4" bore, which, for the purists, would be 2-1/2 bore. A mans got to know his limitations.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Gun Laws

Gun laws always seem to have a shady origin about them no matter what sort of high-minded drivel is used to promote them. The Sullivan law in New York was put forth by "Big Tim" Sullivan, reportedly to both prevent the citizenry from resisting the depredations of the Irish Mafia, which was predominant in New York in 1909, and to provide a lever to use against the Italian mobsters who were on the rise at the time.
Many believe the act was to discriminate against immigrants in New York, particularly Italians, as the first person arrested under the law was mobster Giuseppe Costabile [1]. Whether this was part of the law's intent, it was passed on a wave of anti-immigrant rhetoric as a measure to disarm an alleged criminal element. The police granted the licenses, and could easily discriminate against "undesirable" elements. Sponsor "Big Tim" Sullivan reputedly desired the law so that his criminal cohorts could go about their activities unimpeded by citizens defending themselves with concealed handguns.

I guess it wins a 50% success rate.

The draconian gun laws in Chicago had a similar origin, although much later, which require every citizen in Illinois to apply for an ID card in order to possess any firearm at all, and forbids anyone in Chicago from owning a pistol.

What could be more frightening than a "made member" of the Mob hijacking America's third largest city? Alderman Roti decided he wanted to ban guns in Chicago so honest citizens couldn't fight back against Chicago's Mob.As The Chicago Tribune reported on March 20,1982 in an article titled MAYOR'S FORCES WIN HANDGUN CURB:
Much logrolling went on to get this passed.

For reference, here's a compendium of weapons laws going back to 1640.

Econ 101

Yesterday I was reading a sort of summary of what was actually contained in the stimulus bill, and commented to D'Wife "I will bet money that doing nothing at all would see the end of the recession sooner than this government meddling."

Today, the CBO backs me up.

There is a somewhat lengthy, but nevertheless, quite good summary of economic theory describing how bankers work with politicians, to their mutual benefit here.

It is therefore no surprise that the loudest advocates for the effective nationalization of the finance industry are to be found on Wall Street; at this point, failing financiers welcome any government actions that will socialize their risks. But such actions that socialize "losses while keeping the profits in private hands" are a hallmark of fascist and neofascist economies. They are just another manifestation of "Horwitz's First Law of Political Economy": "no one hates capitalism more than capitalists."
Meantime, some of our elected officials are showing us that if Al-Quida nukes Wasshington, at least a couple of them will be missed.
John Thune introduced an amendment to scrap the entire stimulus, and replace it with an across the board middle class tax rebate. Ask the average American family—would you prefer Congress spend tens of millions on STD prevention and fish pathways—or sent you a check for $10,286?
I, personally favor a Federal tax amnesty, which would declare a moratorium on the collection of federal taxes until some arbitrary amount had been effectively refunded to the public, say 3 months worth. Note that the collections would kick back in in April, just in time for tax day.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pin Shooting

Shooting bowling pins this Saturday. The temperature promises to be about 20 degrees warmer than last time.

The Religion of Peace

They are scraping the bottom of the barrel for sure, now. The Times of London reports:

Samira Ahmed Jassim, 51, is accused of recruiting more than 80 women to become human bombs, including 28 who actually carried out attacks.

She has apparently confessed to helping to organise the rape of young Iraqi women.

She would then play on the shame associated with victims of rape in Iraqi society to convince the women to become suicide bombers as their only means of escape.

It's kind of a hard-core recruiting technique, but desperate people do desperate things. As the WSJ reports, though:

In any case, assuming the rape story is true, consider the many levels on which this is depraved. A Muslim woman is arranging for Muslim men to rape Muslim women in order to shame those Muslim women into committing suicide for the purpose of murdering other Muslim men, women and children. And all of this is done in the name of Islam.
As I have mentioned before, the whole thing runs on blood. The war on terror will end when the last mosque has been converted to a MacDonalds.

Fantastic Four

That would be Pelosi, Reid, and Oboe, each with a highly specialized super power.

Math is not one of the super powers.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Blogger Bash

Or at least an excuse to go out for a beer:

Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash MMIX.1
Saturday, February 7, 2009
7 p.m. to Close
Upstairs at the Wynkoop

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Gun Show!

Went to the Tanner Gun Show to help the CSSA work their booth. Show opened at 9, I got there about 10:30, and had to park somewhere near the Kansas border. The place was packed, as it has been for the last 4 months. The price of everything was up, and people were buying. I limited myself to a holster and a magazine carrier. $10 for both.

The annoying thing was that the local branch of the MSM had predicted that yesterdays 61 degree temp would be replaced by clouds and 37 degrees with a distinct possibility of snow by the afternoon.
The actual high was 47 deg with hardly a cloud to be seen. It's currently 40 at 4:30. I could have ridden the motorcycle, and parked on the sidewalk near the front door! See what you get when you get your info from the MSM?

I'm going to order the tap, and start the 2-1/2 ga punt guns. The hard part will be finding wood suitable to a 2 in OD barrel. Sounds like fun, no?